How To Impress Her Friends

About to meet her pals for the first time? Our experts share how to pass this critical test with flying colors… and have her be even more proud of you.

By Phineas Mollod and Jason Tesauro

emember the Buddy System? Supposedly, pairing up with a classmate would prevent you from wandering off/drowning/abduction on dangerous field trips. As an adult, the Buddy System has a new life-saving function... either you systematically win over her buddies, or else expect a budding
Spending a little scratch is the timeless way to curry favor.
romance to die a quick death. Sure, she likes you, but to really endear yourself to a new sweetie, you have to impress her picky elder sis, long-tenured best friends, and a slew of cubicle mates. Any schmo who sits quietly can earn passable marks from her pals (“Preston’s alright, I suppose”), but with conscientious effort, a chap can score gold stars, with bonus points of friendly jealousy (“What a catch! Does he have a brother, or clone?”). With that in mind, below are the ways to amaze (note: Don’t forget to wear a clean shirt).

Know the names
Learn (and if you’re short on working brain cells, rehearse) her friends’ names beforehand and sprinkle them liberally throughout the night. If you can’t remember two or three important names, then the logic goes, how mindful will you be on birthdays and anniversaries? Similarly, reference any inside info you know about her chums to break the ice (“Janice, I heard you ran away from home to join the circus. What was your act? With that great smile, obviously not the bearded lady.”).

Open the wallet
Ask a lobbyist: Spending a little scratch is the timeless way to curry favor, even if the rapport is flat and the chitchat forced. No one suggests you must pick up the group's entire tab or arrange helicopter transport for all concerned, but can’t a gent take care of the nightclub cover charge or treat her gang to a round of ice-cream sundaes? One crisp Jackson buys instant gratitude and amity, so even if your personality bombs worse than the House of Wax remake, rest assured, you’ll still receive some points (“He’s rude, crude, and lewd, but I will say this... he’s not cheap.”).

A smattering of flattering
The second easiest method to impress: Compliments, compliments, compliments. Offer some fashion kudos to her roommates and acknowledge the great work her best bud is doing at the non-profit. Even better, score points by offering kind words about your date to her friends while she’s in the ladies’ room: “She’s terrific, but you all already know that.” When such praise is repeated back to her later, the positive effect is doubled.

Don’t go for the grope
Incidentally, park that libido in Toledo. Despite her fetching curves, tone down the PDA and ixnay the open-mouthed kissing during outings with her friends. Mild affections are great, but syrupy “pookie-wookies” and all-too-obvious tableside groping make her cohorts feel like a bunch of third wheels... which won’t win you any points.

Wallflower or Man of the Hour?
Don’t wait to be grilled with questions; fight any shyness and jump right into the mix. Get
Fight any shyness and jump right into the mix.
everyone involved in the conversation and turn an awkward meet-and-greet into a charming group experience. Foster confidence with a couple of her intimates by offering some candid insight out of earshot from your date (“When I first called Deanna’s to ask her out, I nearly wore out the pound sign re-recording that message until my excitement wasn’t so obvious.”) Want to really go for it? Stir the ladies to a tizzy with a hush-hush announcement you know will get leaked like a Hollywood scoop (“Don’t say anything, but I’m asking her to go away with me for the holiday weekend.”).

Follow up with a flourish
Whether by email or telephone, always comment afterward on what a delight it was to meet her friends. A few gushy words about her inner circle demonstrate that you are interested in her life as much as her tan lines. Had a little run-in with her dyspeptic pal Barbara? Don’t blatantly lie, yet restrain from using your most colorful profanity. Instead, soften it with a little self-deprecation (“Barbara and I may have gotten off on the wrong foot, but I probably opened my fat mouth at the wrong time...”). At this early stage of dating, it’s not worthwhile to squander precious wooing capital on a clash of personality. If you’re still at it a few months later, then, by all means, unleash your torrent of honesty about bossy Barb—don’t worry, your darling will likely have some choice words about one of your boorish buds as well.

Phineas Mollod traded his J.D. for the editorial life and is often found riding the congested E train with his wife and daughter in New York. Jason Tesauro pushes pen and ink by day and leads the lifestyle seminar series by night, ne'er far from his sweetheart and a Brady Bunch houseful 'o tots in Virginia. Together they are the authors of The Modern Gentleman: A Guide to Essential Manners, Savvy and Vice and The Modern Lover: A Playbook for Suitors, Spouses, and Ringless Carousers.
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